‘The Many Loves of Don Juan’: La Jolla loves outside performances

“The Many Loves of Don Juan” will play at 7 p.m. Saturday, Feb 24 and 2 p.m. Sunday, Feb 25 at The Conrad Prebys Performing Arts Center, 7600 Fay Ave. Tickets are $15 to $65.

“We always present a show annually that is connected to love. This is a really great Valentine’s Day show,” said San Diego Ballet Executive Director Matt Carney.

The entire ballet is set to Spanish guitar, in keeping with the company’s “commitment to presenting work for Latin audiences,” Carney said, along with a mission to perform the classics with new music and varying rhythms.

“We really try to represent San Diego [with] programming that is sultry, entertaining and fast-paced,” he said.

Normally based at its studios in Liberty Station, San Diego Ballet’s main tagline this season is “Imagine the Journey,” Carney said, noting that indicates not only a diversity in the type or work presented but also “journeys through San Diego County.”

“It’s important for us to make sure that people know that they don’t have to go elsewhere to experience … a national level performance,” he added.

La Jolla “has this culture of elegance, of elevation,” Carney said, along with its “beach culture. It’s important for us that we present programming for that vibe.”

Partnering with the La Jolla Music Society, which runs The Conrad, allows San Diego Ballet to be part of LJMS’s “commitment to presenting dance,” he said. “It’s nice to plug in to their theater and also be able to dial in to their dance audience.”

LJMS’s partnerships extend to may local arts organizations in a symbiotic relationship: “Just like we present shows off-site (Downtown and other venues), I think it’s really important for organizations that are primarily based in other areas to present in different communities as well,” said LJMS Artistic Director Leah Rosenthal.

male and female ballet dancers from the many loves of Don Juan show pose together
Photo courtesy of the San Diego Ballet.

“It really helps to expand your audience, to present your work in other communities … to give them an opportunity to have access to that work as well,” she said.

Additionally, the “intimate nature” of The Conrad highlights that there is “something very special and beautiful about being able to see these magnificent dancers: the shape of their arch on their foot, the choreography and their body structure so much more closely,” Rosenthal said.

And it’s not just dance institutions expanding their audiences into La Jolla.

“What we loved about [The Conrad] was the flexibility the space provided us to offer different types of experiences for our concertgoers over the course of the evening,” said Kate Hatmaker, co-founder of local chamber music organization Art of Elan.

Art of Elan hosted a Jan 24 concert featuring “Death and the Maiden” for string quartet by Franz Schubert,  including a pre-concert talk in the Wu Tsai Courtyard and a “cabaret-style” performance in The JAI.

The Conrad is “such an iconic space for music, for dance, for visual art,” Hatmaker said.

“We always feel like it’s a real privilege to be able to perform in a space like that.”

Art of Elan has also performed at The Athenaeum Music & Arts Library in La Jolla, along with collaborating on The Athenaeum’s Murals of La Jolla project to station musicians at murals for a “Musical Migration” series.

La Jolla carries “a built-in appetite and curiosity for music and for culture and all things arts related,” Hatmaker said. “We just want to keep building community through music.

Picture of Elisabeth Frausto

Elisabeth Frausto

Elisabeth Frausto has been reporting on and writing about La Jolla since 2019. With dozens of local and state journalism awards to her name, Elisabeth knows the industry as well as she knows her community. When she’s not covering all things 92037, you’ll find her with coffee in hand staring at the sea.
Picture of Elisabeth Frausto

Elisabeth Frausto

Elisabeth Frausto has been reporting on and writing about La Jolla since 2019. With dozens of local and state journalism awards to her name, Elisabeth knows the industry as well as she knows her community. When she’s not covering all things 92037, you’ll find her with coffee in hand staring at the sea.

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